FIVE months after it was debuted to the world, Mini Australia has detailed the pricing and specification levels of its updated Countryman compact SUV line-up with the range now kicking off from $44,500 plus on-road costs for the entry-level Cooper.
Marking a $2300 increase in entry price, the new Countryman has been treated to a subtle styling makeover front and rear and gained a few extra bits of standard gear while retaining most of the same engines.
We say most because Mini has opted to drop the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder mill in favour of hybrid powertrains as global emissions regulations become increasingly stringent.
On the subject of electrification, the all-electric range of the hybrid Countryman – formerly the S E ALL4 PHEV – has been extended from 40km to between 55 and 61km thanks to a new 9.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack (up from 7.6kWh).
Back on the styling front, the headlines here are a new radiator grille, new front and rear bumpers along with Union Jack tail-lights as per the rest of the Mini range.
A new 5.5-inch digital instrument cluster leads the charge in terms of interior changes, while Apple CarPlay and an “expanded suite of Mini Connected features” can be accessed via an 8.8-inch infotainment screen.
In terms of specific variants, the $44,500 Cooper comes as standard with LED front and rear lighting, leatherette sports seats, comfort access, automatic tailgate, aforementioned digital instrument cluster and infotainment system, Mini Connected services, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and adaptive cruise control with stop and go function.
The whole package then rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels while standard safety gear includes city crash mitigation with pedestrian detection, park distance control with rear camera and reversing assistant as well as dynamic traction control.
Power comes courtesy of the same turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine as the outgoing model, still good for some 100kW of power and 220Nm of torque, all of which is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Above the Cooper is the sportier Cooper S ($52,900) which ditches the tiny three-banger in favour of a 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder mill.
In addition to the kit included on the regular Cooper, the Cooper S scores three drive modes – sport, mid and green – piano black headlight surrounds, bezels around rear lights, front grille frame, door handles and badging, 18-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tyres, John Cooper Works steering wheel, leather cross punch sports seats, piano black interior, forward collision warning and braking pre-conditioning.
Priced $8000 north of the Cooper S in the range is the Hybrid which boasts virtually all of the same standard kit as its traditionally powered cousin – apart from the black exterior trim.
Power in this instance comes from a hybridised version of the base Cooper’s 1.5-litre petrol mill (100kW/220Nm) paired with a 65kW/165Nm electric motor.
The other mechanical change of note is the move to a six-speed automatic transmission rather than the seven-speed DCT automatic used in all other variants, with power sent to all four wheels.
While Mini does not quote a combined output, the results speak themselves, with the new Hybrid outstripping the Cooper S from 0-100km/h by 0.7s (7.5s vs 6.8s).
With an all-electric driving range of up to 61km, Mini claims the Hybrid Countryman will sip 2.4 litres of fuel per 100km and emit just 54g of CO2 per kilometre.
Sitting at the top of the Countryman range is the John Cooper Works ($67,818) and John Cooper Works Pure ($61,915), a new variant designed to offer all of the performance with only some of the frills found on the absolute flagship – just like parent company BMW does with its M range.
Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine as found in the M135i hot hatch, the JCW duo are good for 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds.
Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed ‘Steptronic’ automatic transmission, also pinched from the M135i.
In classic JCW style, the flagship duo is adorned with a chunkier, more aggressive body kit and styling cues including a roof-mounted spoiler, central twin exhaust tips and unique alloy wheels.
Standard equipment on the top model largely mirrors that of the Cooper S but adds a few extra goodies here and there including adaptive sports suspension, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, high performance brakes, Anthracite headliner, head-up display and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
The Pure meanwhile goes without a few of these features, swapping out the leather cross punch sports seats for leather/Dinamica units and going without the head-up display, adaptive damping, 19-inch wheels or premium sound system.
Instead, the JCW Pure rolls on unique 18-inch alloys.
“The arrival of the new Mini Countryman will bolster the strong momentum we’ve enjoyed in Australia thus far in 2020,” Mini Australia and New Zealand general manager Brett Waudby said.
“We anticipate strong interest in the new Countryman, a clear favourite in the Mini range, and look forward to delivering signature British charm, go-kart thrills and value-added practicality for our Mini fans.”
Mini Australia has sold 584 new Countrymans so far this year ending August, accounting for 5.4 per cent of the $40,000-plus small SUV segment.
2021 Mini Countryman pricing*
|Cooper S (a)||$52,900|
|JCW Pure (a)||$61,915|
*Excludes on-road costs